Nightlife in Riverwest

Select Local Merchants

Since its founding in 1974, the nonprofit organization Historic Milwaukee has tirelessly advocated for an awareness of historic preservation and promotion of Milwaukee's built environment. The organization lifts the veil on Milwaukee's buildings and the people of its past through neighborhood walking tours. Throughout the year, special tours take visitors on bike excursions and deeper explorations of more focused historical topics. To further engage history buffs, Historic Milwaukee also helms events ranging from a panel discussion series on city history to a citywide open house featuring more than 150 buildings.

815 East Locust Street
Milwaukee,
WI
US

Nessun Dorma serves up fine Italian fare and lively libations to its happy customers in Milwaukee. For a great meal and a good time in a cozy, fun atmosphere, stop by and try a Puccini panini or the warm, cheesy artichoke dip and pair it with a glass of wine, a bottle of beer, or your favorite cocktail. Nessun Dorma is famous for its delightful bruschetta: you can order them topped with pesto or an olive tapenade to spice up the night. Come dine and drink at Nessun Dorma to see what the fuss is for yourself—we guarantee you'll be glad you did.

2778 N Weil St
Milwaukee,
WI
US

Art Bar, called a "Painter's Paradise" by Urban Milwaukee magazine, isn't your typical watering hole. In its enchanting interior, hundreds of soda bottle caps create an argyle pattern on pillars, wine corks stud an oval-shaped bar, and paint-by-number pieces—depicting everything from horses to the Virgin Mary—plaster a wall.

The kitschy aesthetic offers a glimpse into the creative mind of owner Don Krause. Krause left his former career as an interior designer for Ethan Allen to brave the trials of opening a bar in Riverwest. And he did it his way: His joint pours more than 40 microbrews by night and Alterra coffee by day in a space adorned with the rotating creations of local artists. The beer lineup includes seasonal brews from Bell’s, Founders, Lakefront, and New Glarus, as well as “mystery beers” served for three bucks cloaked in a crumpled brown bag—the way Wisconsin dignitaries drink. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel describes the venue as “a feast for all senses” and “one of the hottest spots in Riverwest,” thanks in part to its comedy, musical, or artistic events.

722 E Burleigh St
Milwaukee,
WI
US

Bremen Café's cadre of sandwich sages heap hearty portions of veggies and deli meats onto hoagie rolls to round out an inventive menu. Silence maundering appetites with meal-prefacing portions of mini Pit-Zas ($4), which set zesty pizza fixings atop 10-foot wide pitas before a shrink ray zaps them down to a more manageable size. The Turkey Delight unites italian hoagie halves with a stack of smoked turkey, pesto mayonnaise, and muenster cheese ($6.50). Instead of staying dry—like cities during prohibition and squirt guns during groundings—the Bremen Beef sandwich anoints tender roast beef, peppers, and onions with piquant chili butter ($6.50). Achieve meatless munching by choosing vegetarian options such as the Burn Mama, Burn ($5.75), which ferries grilled cabbage and giardiniera peppers into mouths on a hoagie roll to launch surprise attacks on taste buds.

901 East Clarke Street
Milwaukee,
WI
US

Maple floors and exposed-brick walls contribute to The Riverwest Filling Station’s rustic ambience, which is mirrored in its menu of classic pub fare featuring upscale twists. Alongside indonesian scallops over udon and Southern-style fried chicken topped with beer gravy, the staff serves 30 draught beers. They also pour the libations into take-home growlers using specialized fillers that remove oxygen and pressurize the beer with carbon dioxide, which can extend the shelf life.

701 E Keefe Ave
Milwaukee,
WI
US

Red Dot's selection of upscale pub grub provides libation-sippers with solid brain food in between intense study sessions of the bar's beer menu. Red Dot's signature plate of poutine ($5 for regular size) pays homage to the Canadian staple with local flair, blanketing french fries in homemade gravy and Wisconsin cheese curds. The Hot Stuff pizza (ranging from $7 for an 8-inch to $15 for a 16-inch) balances bean salsa, black olives, and jalapeños atop its crust, and the "loaded" grilled cheese ($6.50) trumps Mom's made-with-love version, piling on onions, cucumbers, tomato, and four types of cheese. Wash meals down into the soul where they'll frolic forever with local brews such as Lakefront Brewery's Cream City Pale Ale ($4.25) or out-of-state sips such as Rogue Dead Guy Ale ($5) from the exotic island of Oregon.

2498 N Bartlett Ave
Milwaukee,
WI
US